Sandra Sawyer has resigned from the Pulaski County School Board. She’s a Windstream employee who lives in Little Rock and represents the Chenal Valley and western portions of Pulaski County in the sprawling district.
We’ve missed each other in calls, but here’s her resignation letter:
I have enjoyed my tenure as a board member with PCSSD, through our challenges and accomplishments over the last two years. However, after much deliberation and prayer, I have decided to resign my position as the Zone 2 board member. In no way does this reflect the confidence I have in Dr. Hopson as superintendent, who I believe has shown great leadership. He is uniquely capable — because of his willingness to progressively think outside the box — to lead this district where it needs to go.
I have enjoyed seeing first-hand the passion for excellence by our teachers and students, who I believe are the backbone of the district. And, I have met many families and community members who believe, like I do, that there is great promise for this district. I hope in some small way I have helped support education in the city that I love, but, because of family and work obligations, it is time for me to refocus my energy elsewhere.
My biggest consideration with my resignation is that somehow it will be a distraction to the district at a time when major decisions, which I respect, are being made by state leaders in education. That is not my intent.
Instead, I want to reprioritize in my life and dedicate more time to my work and family.”
— Sandra Sawyer
Superintendent Charles Hopson said in a prepared statement:
Sandra Sawyer has been a board member who has combined her love for students and community with great passion for education and business acumen. She has been an outstanding board member who has dedicated herself to PCSSD for almost two years, always showing impeccable integrity and governing herself with a moral imperative to always do what is best for PCSSD students. While we understand her decision, she will be greatly missed as a leader of our district.
By law, the vacancy will be filled by remaining Board members and the person chosen will serve until the next school election in September. The Board has 30 days to make the decision.
Gov. Mike Beebe said he expected word from the state Education Department in a few days — this week, perhaps — on how it would respond to a non-binding Legislative Audit Committee vote to abolish the School Board. With all that’s gone on — bad as it is to overturn voters on chosen leadership — you can begin to see a need for a clean, fresh start in this star-crossed school district.
Sawyer has been a strong supporter of Hopson, who survived a vote to fire him Monday night. She was a no-show at some meetings where hot-button issues were discussed, such as the vote to decertify the teachers union.